Readers might recall that, in 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as Obamacare, by a 5-4 vote in a case captioned NFIB v. Sebelius.
Last year, Congress revised Obamacare. In the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Congress eliminated the penalty imposed on people who do not purchase health insurance by reducing the penalty to $0 effective January 2019.
What makes that 2017 law interesting for present purposes is this: Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the controlling opinion in NFIB v. Sebelius; he concluded that the Obamacare penalty can be characterized as a “tax”; and he decided that, so viewed, Obamacare was a constitutional exercise of Congress’ power to raise taxes.
Enter Texas. In February of this year, Texas and several other states filed a lawsuit alleging that, by reducing the Obamacare tax to zero, Congress eliminated the only basis on which the Supreme Court had upheld the constitutionality of Obamacare. A sine qua non of a tax is that it generates revenue, Texas argued, and beginning in January 2019 Obamacare will no longer do so.
Read the full story from The Daily Signal
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